This post is sponsored by Drug Enforcement Administration but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

The 18th annual Take Back Day will take place on Saturday, October 26th from 10 am to 2 pm. Take Back Day encourages the public to safely and anonymously dispose of old, expired and unwanted prescription drugs. To find locations near you, please click here.

It’s no surprise that our country has a looming and growing opioid crisis that is touching people of all ages, races, genders and socioeconomic backgrounds. In the county in which I live, we have an alarmingly high overdose and addiction rate. Sadly, the opioid crisis has directly affected my family and friends with the loss of loved ones way too young and unexpectedly. I can’t begin to explain how heartbreaking it is to see the devastation of this crisis and how quickly it can overtake someone’s life. While there are changes being implemented at all levels, there are steps you can take at home to help fight this growing problem.

The majority of prescription drug abusers report that they get their drugs free from friends and family. Many medicine cabinets are filled with leftover prescription medications (like pain killers) that can be a source of misuse, theft or abuse for curious kids, teens or someone with substance abuse issues. In 2017, more than 70,000 Americans died from a drug overdose; that is more than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. Although the overall opioid prescribing rate in the United States has been declining since 2012, the amount of opioids prescribed per person is still around three times higher than it was 20 years ago.

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that many abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The DEA’s Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose death by allowing a secure and convenient way to dispose of old medications.

Have you checked your cabinets lately? I was cleaning our bathroom cabinets the other day and was shocked at how many old bottles of prescription meds there were. Remnants of childbirth, unexpected surgeries, and injuries that have been sitting there taking up space and gathering dust. I’ll be dropping them off on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Take a moment to check your cabinets, drop them off and be proactive in helping to fight against drug abuse.

When Is Take Back Day?

Take Back Day is Saturday, October 26th from 10 AM to 2 PM. You can find a collection site near you at DEATakeBack.com or call 800-882-9539. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked!

What Can Be Dropped Off?

Any unwanted medication can be dropped off (not just prescription drugs) as long as it is in a tablet, capsule, patch, or another solid form. Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off.

What If I Can’t Make It That Day?

Missed Take Back Day? Search here for locations that will dispose of medication year-round.

What Do They Do With The Dropped Off Medication?

All the drugs that are collected during Take Back Day will be destroyed by DEA in EPA-approved incinerators.

Why Can’t I Just Throw Away Old Meds?

Throwing away old medications into the garbage or flushing them can lead to water contamination and can damage the environment.

How Much Has Been Collected Through The Take Back Day Program?

In the past 17 National Drug Take Back Days, nearly 12 million pounds of medication have been collected and safely disposed of.


To learn more about the event and find a collection site at DEATakeBack.com or call 800-882-9539.

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